What are the Causes of Cerebral Palsy
There are many different causes of cerebral palsy. Some causes of cerebral palsy are unknown or un-diagnosable. Causes of cerebral palsy include infection, bacterial infection, viral infection, genetic disorders, metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders. A common cause of cerebral palsy is brain injury, injury to specific areas of the brain from decreased oxygen and decreased blood flow which is more often known as asphyxia, asphyxial brain injury and what happens in asphyxial brain injury is that the brain is deprived or choked off of oxygen and blood which then causes brain tissue to die and when brain tissue dies, that causes cerebral palsy. It causes motor dysfunction and physical dysfunction and cognitive disabilities.
A common subset of asphyxial brain injury is injury during the intrapartum labor and delivery period when a baby suffers injury from a lack of oxygen.
Electronic fetal monitoring is designed in large part to detect those fetuses who may be experiencing ongoing lack of oxygen during the labor and delivery process. Electronic fetal monitoring has been used as a tool and has been used as an aid in rescuing babies who are experiencing a lack of oxygen around the time of labor and delivery and if healthcare providers act timely and perform timely caesarean sections or deliver babies in a timely manner through the use of electronic fetal monitoring, they have the ability to prevent a very common cause of cerebral palsy meaning asphyxial brain injury in the intrapartum period. Unfortunately, and all too often, healthcare providers do not act quickly enough, do not take seriously signs and symptoms on electronic fetal heartrate monitoring of a baby who is in a hostile intrauterine environment and what happens is the baby is not rescued in time, and the baby is born with a brain injury that leads to cerebral palsy, and the medical literature reflects this cause as a well-known preventable cause of cerebral palsy, particularly in newborns and children.
When we at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman and Offutt meet with clients who have cerebral palsy, the question we hear the most or the comment we hear the most from our clients is we just want to know why our child has cerebral palsy, and it is remarkable how often children who are seen at alleged world-class institutions the parents are not told what the cause is for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, it’s to protect the healthcare providers who delivered the child and who may have been negligent. Sometimes, they really just don’t know the cause, and they can’t tell the clients but there is a consistent level of frustration amongst our clients who have children with cerebral palsy who simply have just not been given clear-cut answers as to what the cause was. I can think of countless instances in which I sat down with clients, and they brought me records, and I looked at the brain scans, the neuro imaging which showed the areas of the brain that were affected, and I started talking with them, and I would tell them well are you aware that your child has an injury to this part of her brain? Are you aware that your child has an injury to that part of her brain, and the parents will look at me like they have never heard some of these terms before and then I ask them if anyone ever explained to you how a child like yours gets an injury or gets damage to that part of their brain? It becomes apparent that they have never been explained the situation by any healthcare provider. One of the things that can be rewarding is that we get to give our clients answers, and sometimes those answers lead to justice and a sizeable verdict or settlement, and sometimes those answers just lead to answers and no lawsuit is ever filed. Our clients walk out satisfied not ever having been given a penny as a result of a lawsuit simply because we have been able to provide them answers as to the cause of their child’s cerebral palsy. On the other hand, many times the clients have been mislead by medical providers trying to cover up the truth about what happened and in that instance, we spare no expense to prove the truth in a court of law and obtain all appropriate recovery for our clients.